2009 - Volume #33, Issue #1, Page #37[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Converting Generators From 6-Volt To 12
"We gut the generator and replace the internal components," says Greg Snow. "You'll still have the original generator on your tractor so the appearance won't change like it would with an alternator."
The way an otherwise perfectly restored tractor looks with an alternator is one reason his business is booming. "We're constantly looking for old generator cores to rebuild," says Snow.
He usually charges $150 to rebuild the generator and another $50 for a regulator. Often that's all that's needed.
"Going from 6 to 12 volts is easy with most tractors other than the Ford N-Series," he says. "Most models can use the original 6-volt starter but the way the N-Series starter is built, the drive comes in backward, and with 12 volts it will turn so fast it can tear up the flywheel. With the N-Series, you need to rebuild the starter too."
While that rebuild can run another $150 to $175, it's a "clean" rebuild, Snow adds, as no solenoid is needed.
Most 6-volt starters are heavier duty with larger wires than on a 12-volt starter. Snow says the wire size has a lot to do with whether the starter needs to be rebuilt.
In addition to 6 to 12-volt conversions, G&R does general remanufacture of starters, generators and alternators. They also carry a full line of standard replacements for auto, truck, marine, ATV and industrial vehicles. They rebuild all types of DC motors as well.
Snow says the biggest challenge with rebuilding (outside of rust) is finding parts to work with. He says he spends a lot of time trying to track down good quality parts. If he doesn't have the parts for a rebuild available, he may make them. He makes many of his own bushings and starter posts as well as rebuilds drives.
If he can, he will repair damaged parts, such as nose housings for starters. If not, finding the parts can be difficult and expensive when they are found.
"I had a customer who needed a John Deere 70 starter," he relates. "I had to pay $370 for an old core out of a scrap yard with no guarantee it would work. Guys who know what they have, know what they can charge."
Snow says he takes pride in doing the job that he is given and doing it right. He says he has only failed to find a part twice in 28 years.
"You can always send a part off to be made, but it may cost more than it is worth," he says. "John Deere 70 nose cones break a lot. I checked with a foundry to see if they could get a housing recast, but tooling cost and startup required a minimum order of $100,000."
Snow says he is constantly searching for cores and other replacement parts he can buy. He told FARM SHOW he would welcome calls from anyone with parts they were willing to sell. Often all he needs is a part number, such as is found on the tag on all Delco parts. He notes that prices even for cores can vary dramatically from $5 to $100.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, G&R Rebuilding, 460 N. Prior Ave., St. Paul, Minn. 55104 (ph 651 644-7743 or 888 210-7743; fax 651 644-2231).
Click here to download page story appeared in.
Click here to read entire issue
To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.